The cost of carrying road freight to Poland, Hungary and the Czech republic has increased by about 10% during the course of this year. There was a sustained period of economic growth in the Eastern European countries following EU enlargement. As production facilities increased, the ‘new’ EU countries began to export large volumes by road to Western Europe, including the UK. This meant that truckers from Eastern Europe – mainly from Poland on the UK leg of the journey – were able to offer cheap back-load rates to UK exporters. This situation changed a few months ago because of a drastic reduction in capacity due to various factors; the increase in the value of the Polish zloty against sterling, rising fuel prices, and other opportunities for Polish hauliers. Shippers are increasingly having to use more expensive scheduled services in order to ensure that their goods are delivered on time.